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Catalog Archive / Spring 2024

I Talk about It All the Time
Introduction by Monica L. Miller and Nana Osei-Kofi

“Beautifully, immersively written, these everyday and reflective snapshots from the life of a Black, queer Norwegian woman are searing, insightful, and so recognizable for other women in the Black European diaspora.”
—Gloria Wekker, author of White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race

What does it mean to be Norwegian?

In this biting, lyrical memoir, Camara Lundestad Joof, born in Bodø to Norwegian and Gambian parents, shares her experiences as a queer Black Norwegian woman. Joof’s daily encounters belie the myth of a colorblind contemporary Scandinavia. She wrestles with the fickle palimpsest of memory, demanding communion with her readers even as she recognizes her own exhaustion in the face of constantly being asked to educate others.

“I regularly decide to quit talking to white people about racism,” writes Joof. Such discussions often feel unproductive, the occasional spark of hope coming at enormous personal cost. But not talking about it is impossible, a betrayal of self. The book is a self-examination as well as societal indictment. It is an open challenge to readers, to hear her as she talks about it, all the time.

 

Camara Lundestad Joof, photo credit Maria Gossé. Camara Lundestad Joof is the 2020–24 playwright in residence at Nationaltheatret (The National Theatre) in Oslo, Norway; her works have also been staged in Sweden, Denmark, Italy, and Germany. Recent plays include Samtaler med bror and De må føde oss eller pule oss for å elske oss.

Olivia Gunn.Olivia Noble Gunn is an associate professor of Scandinavian studies and the Sverre Arestad Endowed Chair in Norwegian Studies at the University of Washington and the author of Empty Nurseries, Queer Occupants: Reproduction and the Future in Ibsen’s Late Plays.

 

 

Praise

“A stunning memoir told in illuminating fragments. Joof’s devastating narrative captures what it costs to navigate spaces where you are constantly treated as if you do not belong.”
—Ethelene Whitmire, author of Regina Anderson Andrews, Harlem Renaissance Librarian

“This gemlike book relentlessly dramatizes the particularities of Norwegian racism. The power of Joof's observations increases in proportion to their understated precision. Her gentle voice is wholly deceptive. She slices through the delusions, denials, and defensiveness that distinguish the unthinkable racism of Scandinavian society.”
—Paul Gilroy, author of The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness

 

Resources

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Let’s Talk about Race
Monica L. Miller and Nana Osei-Kofi

Dear Brother
Quitting
What’s in a Name?
Friend First
National Costume I
A Less Significant Event
Whiteness
Quid Pro Quo
Pavlov’s Bicycle
Going Out
Brownness for Sale
The Stupidity of Youth
Stockholm—Oslo—Copenhagen
Stop
Mass Effect
African Time
Pillow Talk
Low-Frequency Feelings
A Little Man
Playing the Victim
Cultural Capital
Traveling by Plane
Traveling by Train
The Arts and Culture Center for Nynorsk
Tequila
Blabbermouth
Gratitude
Youth, First
New Sweater
Loop
He Hit First
The Rope
Mania
Source Critique
Mom’s Memory
Red
Apolitical
Someone Else’s Brother
You’re on the Wrong Train, Sir
Avalanche
National Costume II
Mom Is a Superhero
Your Silence Will Not Save You
Epilogue

Translator’s Note and Acknowledgments
Olivia Noble Gunn

 


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Larger images

July 2024
LC: 2023043893
120 pp. 5.5 x 8.5

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Paper $18.95
ISBN 9780299348540
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